Good Morning Anxiety

This morning I woke up to Anxiety pounding on my chest and yelling “get up!” So ambled throughout the day feeling lethargic and apathetic. I didn’t have an appetite and I certainly didn’t feel like socialising (even though I had to). You see, Anxiety has been a bit of a problem for me over the past few months. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t write  for so long. Things going on in my life like my illness and issues with my partner had led me to feel as though everything I thought I knew was not at all like I imagined it. Not just a little bit, but literally, everything  was turned upside down and inside out until I had no idea what was what anymore. The ground wasn’t just shaking, it was completely gone and I was suspended in the middle of nowhere thinking “what the hell has happened to me?”.

I’ve been feeling a lot better recently. I’ve had therapy you see, to learn to deal with my situation better, and to learn to cope with the anxiety and the thoughts and physical sensations that go along with it. So when I woke up this morning it was a bit of a shock. I didn’t actively feel anxious, my body just was anxious. And so that is how my day began.

I got along alright. I went to work, I cleaned the house and I met a friend for coffee. But all the time anxiety was pounding on my chest saying “listen to me, there’s danger, you need to do something about it”. So what did I do?

I took a bath. Not just any bath, but an incredibly hot bath surrounded by candles and filled to the brim with luxurious bubbles. I put on a face mask, got in that bath, sank down and took the time to just breath. I felt my breath go in and out, and I literally felt my anxiety drift away. I felt my enthusiasm for my life return and I enjoyed each and every moment of the hour I spent in there.

Now, I feel relaxed. Anxiety is still there, deep under the surface. For whatever reason, my body thinks there’s danger about. But I feel better able to cope with it now. I feel more like my normal self.

And the moral of the story is?

Today I reminded myself that it’s better to face anxiety head on rather than pretend it isn’t there. I learnt that taking the time to do something for myself is helpful, even if I don’t think it will be. I rarely stop and take a moment to just be, to just relax. Allowing myself to be anxious, and offering myself respite and compassion when I am instead of beating myself up about it has turned out the be the most relaxing experience I’ve had all year.

What do you do when you feel anxious or stressed? Are you compassionate or do you berate yourself? 

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4 thoughts on “Good Morning Anxiety

  1. Great post Sara. I too felt relaxed when you were talking about your experience in the bathtub 🙂 Relaxing and active compassion towards oneself in a time of stress–wonderful and powerful combination. I believe it is a sign of true self-love.

    When I have anxiety, I relax into it. When I start feeling the sensations that I associated with anxiety, it is a trigger to just relax. This doesn’t stop the thoughts provoked by my fear but it does enable me to just observe them without feeling really, really compelled to act on them. Sometimes if I feel myself buying into one of these thoughts, I question its validity. If I feel I am going to faint, I tell myself that’s okay and again, observe my sensations (I have never fainted). But generally, I relax and it passes. I am getting better and better at doing this in public.

    I do believe that resistance to the anxiety is what gives it strength.

    If the anxiety is triggered by something I associate to be very similar to my trauma, and my body goes into distress for more than a day (happens rarely but does happen), I will increase my benzo slightly. I feel I can do this safely because I am on a low dose. Then I decrease it again when I feel I am ready.

    Much love to you Sara.

    • Thanks for your comment Trish! I am learning to observe my thoughts at the moment. It’s pretty difficult and I probably need more practice than I am giving myself. I think I am getting better at it though.

      I totally agree about resistance giving anxiety strength. My therapist actually told me that if you are completely willing to experience it without expecting it to go away, that it actually lessens the impact. Sorta hard to wrap your head around, but I find that it works once you do get a grasp on it.

      Thanks for sharing how you experience your anxiety and how you deal with it. It sounds to me like you are on the right path, and I hope that over time your anxiety becomes less of a problem even in those situations where there may be triggers of your trauma.

      xx

  2. Hi Sara, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your lovely comment, it has made my morning 🙂

    Like you, I also experience anxiety. Sometimes I can identify the trigger, but other times, it is just as you describe – my body suddenly decides that I’m in danger and to protect me it sends my adrenalin levels skyrocketing for no apparent reason. Often times, it will happen as I’m trying to go to sleep – and when this is the case, one of the few things I have found that helps me is to have a lovely, long bath. I fill the tub halfway, slip in and allow myself to luxuriate in the water’s warmth, before I flip open my book and let my body be lulled by the sound of the running tap, and my mind absorbed by the text. After about an hour or so, I’m usually able to slip out and go back to bed to doze off.

    However, sometimes I can be my own worst enemy. If I’m going to work the next day, I will often try and ignore the anxiety and persevere with trying to get to sleep, even when I know that I really need to do something different to address the problem. So, thanks for the reminder that it definitely is better to tackle the beast head-on before it becomes a bigger problem than it already is.

    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks for stopping by. You are most welcome for the comment. I’ll have you know, I am incredibly picky when it comes to blogs and I certainly wouldn’t have said what I didn’t without truly meaning it. Great to know you love a good bath too and that it helps you with your anxiety. I hope you have one sometime soon. I’m in the planning stages for my next excursion to the bath!

      -Sara

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